FE43DF93-13CD-493E-BEF2-A77A9E7D6926 Copenhagen Consensus Center Logo
Copenhagen Consensus Center

Priorities for Rajasthan

Given the range of challenges facing Rajasthan, what should be the top priorities for policy-makers, civil society, donors and businesses? With limited resources and time, it is crucial that focus is informed by what will do the most good for each rupee spent.

Based on peer-reviewed analyses from dozens of top economists from Rajasthan, India and abroad, a panel of eminent economists has prioritized more than 70 interventions in terms of their value-for-money. Their list shows where each rupee can do the most economic, social and environmental good for Rajasthan.

The top 10 smartest solutions for Rajasthan

  1. Improve private sector TB care 
    Create a Public Private Support Agency. This costs about Rs. 15.2 crore per year between now and 2050, and would increase TB patients in high-quality treatment by 2040 from 20,400 to 23,300, preventing nearly 11.5% of TB deaths.
  2. Improve private sector TB care and active case finding 
    In combination with a PPSA, actively screen and identify patients in urban slums. This costs Rs. 41.6 crore to cut multidrug-resistant cases by up to 80% and prevent 15% of TB deaths.
  3. Education for complementary feeding and hand-washing 
    Counsel mothers to improve breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and hand-washing. The cost per mother is Rs. 1,200. Equivalent benefits, mostly from babies’ eventual higher productivity, are Rs. 54,000.
  4. Package of nutrition based interventions 
    Behaviour change counselling, supplementary food and micronutrient supplements will cost Rs. 14,144 per beneficiary; increasing coverage by 10% will avoid 365 deaths and reduce stunting by 20% in beneficiary group.
  5. Supplementary food for mother and child 
    Providing complementary food to children 6-12 and 12-36 months, and pregnant and lactating women costs Rs. 11,532 per beneficiary; increasing coverage by 10% saves 300+ lives and reduces stunting by 10% in beneficiary group.
  6. Improve land records digitisation
    Digitise all records related to land – including records of rights, maps, and surveys. This costs Rs. 486 crores. More secure property rights would improve growth, worth Rs. 12,600 crore.
  7. Micronutrients for pregnant women at ANC visits 
    Provide vitamins and nutrients at antenatal visits. Health workers, training and supplements cost Rs. 124 crore annually, and would avoid more than a lakh of maternal anaemia, half a lakh of low-weight babies, and 2,500+ deaths.
  8. Secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease 
    Screen 70% of 30-69 year-olds for CVD and treat those with elevated blood pressure with polypills, will avert about 20% of CVD mortality.
  9. Energy storage in commercial buildings 
    Water-based thermal energy storage costs Rs. 531 per sq ft, saves 15.12 kWh of electricity annually, and reduces stress on the power system and climate.
  10. E-mandis to reduce middle-men superprofits 
    Setting up and running 114 markets as e-mandis over 20 years costs Rs. 31 crore. Increased price transparency and cutting need for middle-men means Rs. 8,523 crore in benefits.

Eminent Panel

The Rajasthan Priorities Eminent Panel comprises:

• Dr Bibek Debroy
• Professor Amitabh Mattoo
• Dr Alok Ray
• Dr Rathin Roy

Eminent Panel Approach

The Eminent Panel sought to address the research proposals with a view to answering the question: On which initiatives should additional resources be spent first?

The Eminent Panel intends these findings to be informative not just to the Government of Rajasthan, but also to others, including NGOs and charitable organizations.

The panel examined the proposals in detail. Each proposal was discussed with its principal author. The panel was informed by Sector Expert Commentaries, and by Panel members’ own critical appraisals and discussions on assumptions and methodology.

In ordering the proposals, the Eminent Panel was guided predominantly by consideration of social, economic and environmental costs and benefits.

The Eminent Panel acknowledged the difficulties that cost‐benefit analysis must overcome, both in principle and as a practical matter, but agreed that the cost‐benefit approach was a very important organizing method.

Each Eminent Panel member assigned his own ranking to proposals. The Eminent Panel’s ranking was calculated by taking the median of individual rankings. 

The Eminent Panel jointly endorses the median ordering as representing their agreed view. In due course, the Eminent Panel’s individual commentaries shall be published in book form.

Biographies Of The Eminent Panel Members

Dr Bibek Debroy

Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) and Member of NITI Aayog, the think-tank of the Indian Government. Dr. Bibek Debroy was educated in Ramakrishna Mission School, Narendrapur; Presidency College, Kolkata; Delhi School of Economics and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was awarded the ‘Padma Shri’ (the fourth-highest civilian honour in India) in 2015. In 2016, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by US-India Business Summit. He has worked in following Professional bodies: Presidency College, Kolkata (1979-83); Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune (1983-87); Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi (1987-93); as The Director of a Ministry of Finance/UNDP project on legal reforms (1993-98); Department of Economic Affairs (1994-95); National Council of Applied Economic Research (1995-96); Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (1997-2005); PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2005-06); Centre for Policy Research (2007-2015).He has authored/edited several books, papers and popular articles and has also been a Consulting/Contributing Editor with several newspapers. 

Professor Amitabh Mattoo

Advisor to the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, with the status of a Cabinet Minister; CEO and Honorary Director of the Australia India Institute at Delhi; and Professor of International Relations at the University of Melbourne. He is also a Professor of Disarmament Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has been a member of the National Security Advisory Board and a member of the National Knowledge Commission to the Prime Minister of India. Professor Amitabh Mattoo was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu from 2002-2008. Recognizing his contribution to education and public life, the President of India honoured Professor Mattoo with the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian awards.

Dr Alok Ray    

Former Professor of Economics, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, India where he taught for more than 30 years.  He obtained his PhD from University of Rochester, USA.  Prof. Ray has also taught at   Calcutta University, Delhi School of Economics, Cornell University (USA), University of Rochester (USA), University of Pittsburg (USA), Portland State University (USA), Queen’s University (Canada) and Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). He is the author of a book: Trade, Protection and Economic Policy (Macmillan) and many professional articles in leading international journals. In addition, he writes regular columns on contemporary issues in several English dailies. Professor Ray has been a consultant to United Nations, World Bank, Government of India and a number of private sector companies. He is a recipient of the prestigious V.K.R.V. Rao Award in Economics for his research contributions and the “Best Teacher of Economics” Award by Bengal Economic Association.

Dr Rathin Roy

Director and CEO of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy New Delhi; and Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India.  With postings in London, New York, Kathmandu, Brasilia and Bangkok, he has worked as an Economic Diplomat and Policy Advisor with UNDP, focusing on emerging economies.  He has taught at the Universities of Manchester and London and served as Economic Adviser with the Thirteenth Finance Commission and as a Member, Seventh Central Pay Commission, Government of India. Dr. Roy is Member, India Advisory Committee, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Inquiry into a Sustainable Financial System, Member on the Meta Council on Inclusive Growth, World Economic Forum, Geneva, Member on FRBM Review Committee, Government of India. Dr. Roy’s policy interests and publications have mainly focused on fiscal and macroeconomic issues pertinent to human development in developing and emerging economies.  Dr. Roy has written extensively on fiscal space for human development, inter-government fiscal issues, fiscal marksmanship, macro-economic conditionality and IMF Article-IV policy analyses. Dr. Roy holds a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Cambridge, an MA in Economics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and a BA (Hons) in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi.

Ranking of Proposals

The Eminent Panel considers and prioritizes specific proposals to respond to challenges. This is different from ranking the challenges themselves. A low ranking of a proposal does not mean that the problem it addresses should be considered unimportant. 

The Ranking was calculated by taking the mean of each Eminent Panel member’s individual rankings. The Eminent Panel jointly endorses the median ordering as representing their agreed view. In due course, the Eminent Panel’s individual commentaries shall be published in book form.

In setting priorities, the Eminent Panel has taken into account the strengths and weaknesses of the specific cost‐benefit appraisals under review, and has given weight both to the institutional preconditions for success and to the demands of ethical or humanitarian importance.

Based on the costs and benefits of the solutions and their own assessment, the panel ranked the proposals, in descending order of desirability, as follows:


Rank Proposal
1 Improve private sector TB care
2 Improve private sector TB care and active case finding
3 Education for complementary feeding and hand-washing
4 Package of nutrition based interventions
5 Supplementary food for mother and child
6 Improve land records digitisation
7 Micronutrients for pregnant women at ANC visits
8 Secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease
9 Energy storage in commercial buildings - water
10 E-mandis to reduce middle-men superprofits
11 Immunization camps in lagging districts
12 Certified seed production
13 Expand urban ambulance network
14 Expand rural ambulance network
15 Diabetes screening and treatment
16 Zig-zag brick kiln technology to reduce air pollution
17 Mass media breastfeeding promotion and counseling
18 Vertical shaft brick kiln technology to reduce air
19 Urban sewerage and wastewater treament 100 percent
20 Treatment for children with severe acute malnutrition
21 Tablets to reduce anaemia in adolescent girls
22 Conditional cash transfer for ANC visits
23 Urban waste collection 100 percent
24 Build warehouses, storage and cold chain
25 Renovation of traditional water harvesting
26 Urban 24x7 piped water supply
27 Expand water use efficient irrigation
28 Expand UID (Aadhaar) based payments for MGNREGA
29 Improved maternal and neonatal health care
30 Improved drinking water supply - urban
31 Self-help groups against domestic violence
32 Improved drinking water supply - rural
33 Behavioural change for household treatment of drinking water
34 Family planning for unmet need
35 Community mobilisation against domestic violence
36 Cash transfer for girls' secondary school enrolment
37 Well-structured incentives to teachers
38 Connect rural households to national fibre optic network
39 Cash transfer for girls' secondary school enrollment
40 Group and teach children at the right level
41 Direct non-monetary incentives to reduce child
42 Subsidised apprenticeships
43 Bicycle transfer for girls' secondary school enrolment
44 Vocational training program
45 Improved mobile phone advisory
46 Computer assisted learning at the right level
47 Soil health card
48 Cervical cancer screening and treatment
49 Crop diversification
50 In-situ slum redevelopment
51 Private-public affordable housing projects
52 Energy efficient agricultural water pumps
53 Indoor air pollution: Improved biomass cookstoves
54 Organic products certification for export
55 Free trade warehousing zone
56 Inland container terminal
57 Upgrade agricultural power distribution
58 Behavioural change for use of existing sanitation facilities
59 Expand poverty graduation and livelihood programs
60 Breast cancer screening and treatment
61 Double teacher-pupil ratio
62 Expand skill training for women
63 Expand crop insurance coverage
64 Mental health counselling in schools
65 Indoor air pollution: Free LPG connection to poor
66 Subsidised do-it-yourself extension and construction
67 Expanding the grid to unserved population
68 Cash incentives to attend pre-school classes in AWCs
69 Hire local teachers to improve pre-school classes in AWCs
70 Toilet provision for girls' secondary school enrolment
71 Flush / Pour-flush sanitation - rural
72 Training of teachers
73 Diesel microgrids to unserved population
74 Flush / Pour-flush sanitation - urban
75 Start-up incubator support
76 Credit support to micro, small and medium enterprises
77 Farmer loan waivers
78 Solar microgrids to unserved population
79 Indoor air pollution: LPG subsidy reduction by 50%

Notes On Eminent Panel Rankings

Subsidized apprenticeships and Vocational training program: The Panel notes that in implementation, these two interventions can complement each other, and the best approach may be a package one, rather than a silo approach being undertaken.
Cash transfers for Child Marriage: The Panel notes that it is important to not only incentivize school enrolment, but also incentivize retention and graduation.
Credit support to micro, small and medium enterprises: An update from the author to the Panel clarified that this intervention involves providing a credit facility and business management hand-holding for MSMEs; it is this full intervention that the Panel has ranked. 
Energy efficient agricultural water pumps and Upgrade agricultural power distribution: The Panel makes the note that these interventions are bankable.

Rajasthan Priorities Research Methodology

Rajasthan Priorities research followed the Copenhagen Consensus approach, refined over fifteen years to improve global, regional and national spending priorities. Prior to research being undertaken, 18 key sector roundtables and more than 120 meetings resulted in a total of 1000+ promising solutions being identified for the state. 

I think this will be an exciting exercise. We don't always do rigorous analysis before implementing. It will be helpful for us." Veenu Gupta (Additional Chief Secretary, Medical, Health and Family Welfare, Fr. Principal Secretary, Health)

Stakeholder meetings were held for key policy actors comprising of prominent individuals across Rajasthan, representatives from government, UN organizations, donor organizations, academia, NGOs, think-tanks, and key sector experts etc. One-to-one, in-depth meetings were held with the Chief Minister’s Office, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries of all relevant departments, Adviser to Chief Minister, Chairperson, 5th Finance Commission along with Planning Department, Finance Ministry, and others.

At the consultation meetings, sector experts and representatives from government, donors, think tanks, NGOs, and universities were invited to assess the best topics for cost-benefit research. With additional inputs from the Academic Advisory Committee, a final short-list of interventions was identified for research

I think you've done a great job with the list of solutions“ Roli Singh (Principal Secretary,Women and Child Development).

Research papers were commissioned from Indian and international specialist economists, to analyze the costs and benefits of more than 80 specific proposals. Assumptions were standardized to allow for comparison between different proposals. Peer review was embedded into the research process, to ensure quality while capturing a broad range of expert perspectives. In addition, sector experts from civil society and government provided commentaries.

Academic Advisory Committee

Rajasthan Priorities research was guided by an Academic Advisory Committee that comprises:

Dr Jyoti Kiran is an economist & academician of national repute trained at premier institutes like, the University of Rajasthan, Delhi School of Economics and the University of Huddersfield (UK). A PhD in Economics and a specialist on employment, development policy and finance, she has researched and written extensively on economic policy and development. One of her major specializations lies in Economics of Urban Development and she has worked extensively on Urban Finance. She taught at reputed institutes like NIT Nagpur for about 13 years and later worked in leadership positions in management institutes as Dean and Director. 

Professor Vijay Shankar Vyas is Professor Emeritus in the Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur, and has a Ph.D degree in Economics from the University of Bombay. Prof. Vyas served as Director of the Agro-Economic Research Centre, Vallabh Vidyanagar; Professor of Economics and Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sardar Patel University; Member, Agricultural Prices Commission of the Government of India; Director, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; Senior Advisor in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the World Bank, Washington, D.C. He was a Senior Fellow of the IDRC, Canada, and a Visiting Scholar at the South Asia Centre of the Boston University, U.S.A. 

Shri C. S. Rajan is Deputy Chairman of the Chief Ministers Advisory Council, Government of Rajasthan and was Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan from 2014 to 2016. Shri Rajan is a 1978 batch Indian Administrative Service officer and has served in several key positions in the Government.  He was Additional Chief Secretary- Infrastructure, ACS Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Principal Secretary, Industries, Pr. Secy. Energy, Pr. Secy. Public Works, Secretary Agriculture etc. for long periods. Shri Rajan has led many reforms and has been a key person in the Rajasthan Government on development planning and implementation of socio-economic policies and schemes in the State.

Mr Pradeep S Mehta is the founder Secretary General of the Jaipur-based Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International), a leading economic policy research, advocacy and networking, non-governmental group in India, with offices in Nairobi, Lusaka, Hanoi, Accra and Geneva. CUTS was established in 1983 and has completed 30 glorious years. In April 2012, Mehta has been nominated to the High-Level Stakeholders Panel of WTO on Defining the Future of Trade. He serves on several policy-making bodies of the Government of India and Inter-Governmental Organisations related to trade, investment, competition, environment and consumer affairs. 

Professor S.D.Gupta is a Public Health expert with a distinguished academic and research career. He is a fellow of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine, and a long-term member of the International Epidemiological Association. He has published several research papers and reports. He has been associated in various capacities with several national and international research and academic organizations. He has chaired several scientific and other committees and served as a temporary advisor to WHO Scientific Working Group on Research Information Management. Dr. Gupta is President of WHO’s South East Asia Network of Public Health Education Institutions Network and Chairman of IHMR University, Jaipur. 

Professor Vivek Bhandari is the Chairman, Jio Payments Bank Limited (JPBL) is a joint venture of the State Bank of India (SBI) and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). He is responsible for managing all aspects of the bank's governance, and in this capacity works closely with the CEO and other board members. He has served as the President of IIHMR University, Jaipur, India's premier knowledge institution committed to research and teaching in the fields of public health, health management systems, rural development, and a variety of fields that impact issues of health and well-being. He has served as Director of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), India’s pioneering institution created to address the needs of India’s large rural population. Before joining IRMA, he was a tenured faculty member at Hampshire College in Amherst, USA for just under a decade, and worked closely with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the colleges associated with the prestigious Five College Consortium.